Im sure you have seen the commercials for medicines to treat restless legs syndrome and you thought that ain’t real, well I’m here to tell you that it is.
Restless legs syndrome is an incurable condition characterized by discomfort in the muscles of the legs, generally leading to the uncontrollable urge to move around for relief. restless legs syndrome affects up to 12 million people in the United States-but what causes this sensation of restlessness? No one is certain of the exact cause of restless legs syndrome, but researchers theorize that the condition may be due to an imbalance of the neurotransmitter dopamine. dopamine sends messages to the body, which modulate muscle activity.
It is theorized that restless legs syndrome may run in families. In fact, almost 50 percent of people with restless legs report having a family member with the same condition. Despite a possible hereditary connection, however, most cases of restless legs syndrome have no known cause. This is known as primary restless legs syndrome. In secondary restless legs syndrome, the other form of this disease, the symptoms are due to another, underlying medical condition, and usually disappear when that problem is treated.
One of the most common causes of secondary restless legs syndrome is iron-deficiency anemia, which is characterized by low levels of hemoglobin in the blood. Hemoglobin is the protein that carries oxygen and makes blood look red. Kidney disease and kidney failure cause secondary restless legs syndrome for the same reason: When the kidney fails to function properly, iron stores in the blood decrease, and restless legs can result. Damage to the nerves of the arms and the legs is known as peripheral neuropathy, and is another source of secondary restless legs syndrome. Peripheral neuropathy is seen in a variety of diseases, including diabetes, HIV infection, and alcoholism. Another recognized cause of restless legs syndrome is pregnancy.
Up to 40 percent of pregnant women experience restless legs prior to giving birth. Certain prescription medications can actually cause restless legs syndrome, including the common drugs, Paxil and Dilantin. Beta-blockers like propranolol, and H2 blockers like Zantac, have also been shown to contribute to the problem. In other cases, alcohol, caffeine, or cigarette smoking can exacerbate or even cause, the symptoms of restless legs syndrome. The most popular drug currently used to treat this condition is called ropinirole which was originally approved to treat Parkinson’s disease and it works by increasing levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain.
So if you have the symptoms of Restless legs syndrome, don’t ignore them, its a real deal so get to your doctor.